The Game: You are a frog. Your task is simple: hop across a busy highway, dodging cars and trucks, until you get the to the edge of a river, where you must keep yourself from drowning by crossing safely to your grotto at the top of the screen by leaping across the backs of turtles and logs. But watch out for snakes and alligators! (Sega [under license from Konami], 1981)
Memories: Frogger is a truly ribbeting game, and very addictive. It was one of the handful of cute action games that arrived around the same time as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, though it was never franchised as heavily as those games were. There was a Frogger sticker set, the occasional T-shirt, and a rockin’ musical tribute from Bucker & Garcia on the Pac-Man Fever album. Frogger also existed very briefly as a Saturday morning cartoon on CBS, in which he and his amphibian pals were reporters on the swamp beat, but this incarnation of Frogger was even shorter-lived than the cartoon based on Pac-Man.
Frogger was ported to every home video game platform under the sun thanks to Parker Brothers, who also created their own sort of quasi-sequel cartridge, Frogger II: Threeedeep!, which was an oddity in that it wasn’t based on an arcade sequel. More recently, Frogger has been revived in various 3-D forms since 1999, though some of these revivals came in for some criticism since, unlike Tempest 2000 or some Pac-Man World, the original game was nowhere to be found, and it wasn’t even an option. You were stuck with the 3-D rendered game, which, after a few seconds, bore little resemblance to the original Frogger.
Back in the early days of gaming, however, Frogger could be found in almost every form, including the Coleco tabletop arcade game. The Coleco Frogger game was probably the most faithful of any of its tabletop LED offerings, since it was easy to replicate the game with fixed graphic elements.